Meanderthals: A Word is Worth a Thousand Pictures

The function of the Meanderthals Blog is to exhibit the most interesting, unique, off topic, or epitomizing images generated for a chosen word or phrase by Google Images.

Google Images has become the visual dictionary for modern society, but unlike Websters and other dictionaries and reference resources, entries in Google Images are unaware and unintentionally defining their topic.

Google can’t tell what is in an image by directly looking at it, but it uses a system that reads words near the selected images or in image captions, or in links to the images.

This process turns up results that usually have to do with the subject you searched for, sometimes directly (search for dog and get pictures of a dog) and sometimes indirectly (search for dog and get pictures of a book that was featured on a TV show where the guest was Dog the bounty hunter).

By displaying the finding of such searches, we hope to create a visually captivating mish mash of images or “Blogollage“, and maybe even reveal something about our society through showing the imagery that turns up for the given word.

Searches are performed in several different fashions: Sometimes the goal (especially when searching for a word representing an abstract concept) is to find an interesting assortment of images. Example

Sometimes the goal is to find images with a unifying composition or idea. Example

Other times the search turns up results that comment on the general  sentiment the collective internet public feels for the subject. Example

Like Most Internet Collections, the ultimate goal of Meanderthals is to waste time and have fun by fulfilling our inner materialist in an age where so many possessions are digital and intangible, along the way we hope to map the trends and tendencies of the web using Google Images as our compass.

Ryan

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